Author Archives: picketts@hamlin.org

it’s baaaack …

StGG v2iSTEMming the Gender Gap 2016 is happening on Friday, December 2, 2016.

Once again, Hamlin girls will have the chance to see, interact with, learn from, and teach female tech leaders as they prepare themselves to be tomorrow’s tech superstars and help close the #StemGenderGap!

Hamlin Reflects on the 2016 Election

Dear Hamlin Community,
I am now back in my office after an inspiring and engaging all-school assembly. Several weeks ago, I reached out to Hamlin teachers and planned a gathering for our community because I knew that we would need and want to be together this morning to process the outcome of the Presidential election and senate races. I am writing to let you know that your daughters, our amazing students, are just where they need to be — in the company of compassionate and respectful adults who love them, who listen to them, and who see their incredible potential. We have a great responsibility, today and always, to help them process their thoughts and feelings, to create pathways for civil discourse and critical thinking, and to prepare them to meet the challenges of their time.
During our assembly, we used words, music, and dance to affirm our values as a school and as a country. I acknowledged the fact that some girls and their families may feel excited and satisfied with the outcome of the presidential election, and other girls and families are feeling sad, confused, and scared. I reminded the girls that disagreement is perfectly normal, even if difficult. I asked the girls and the faculty and staff, “What does the Pledge of Allegiance mean on a day when many feel betrayed by their country?” “How can one sing ‘America the Beautiful’ on a day when many people feel that the ugliness of disrespect has been rewarded?” I alone recited the Pledge of Allegiance and asked the girls to think about “liberty and justice for all.” Some of us sang “America the Beautiful,” while others opted to think rather than sing. That, too, is perfectly normal.
Girls in Grades 5 through 8 stood proudly and made the air fragrant with hope and determination by speaking the names of their “famous” (influential) women in history from the Grade 4 social studies curriculum. Sarah Dix Hamlin made a guest appearance to share her life story and her feelings about the outcome of the election; she affirmed Hamlin girls’ courage and reminded them of their responsibility to make the world a more just and equitable place. (Sarah Dix Hamlin was portrayed by our very own Ms. Quackenbush, who was dressed in period costume.) We ended our assembly with vibrant Grade 8 dancers, led by our incredible dance teacher Ms. Williams, and we all danced to Beyonce’s “Run the World.” Our mission is more relevant than ever:
“The Hamlin School educates girls to meet the challenges of their time, and inspires them to become extraordinary thinkers and innovators, courageous leaders, and women of integrity.”
I dismissed the girls from assembly, grade by grade, and asked them to walk through a queue of loving faculty and staff. Girls high-fived and hugged their teachers and leaders, receiving our love and comfort as they returned to class. In turn, we received their love and comfort. They are our inspiration.
Here is a group poem, written by third graders this morning, as well as a Huffington Post articlethat I believe provides a framework for conversation with our children.
As always, we are grateful for your partnership. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with your daughter’s teacher or advisor if you need further guidance or support.
Rise and Shine,
Wanda M. Holland Greene
Head of School

Citizen Science & Hamlin

unnamed (1)What is Citizen Science?

Citizen Science gives students or the general public an opportunity to be a part of current ongoing research. Most studies have to do with the changing global climate and how habitats are changing over time.  One of the first citizen science projects was conducted by Professor Joe Caprio at Montana State University. He collected data on postcards in the 1950’s on lilac plants in backyards and gardens. With this information, he was able to discover  how elevation and latitude were connected to the onset of spring and to look at climate change.

Hamlin and Citizen Science. Continue reading

Hamlin Girls’ Work Returns from Space

Avery and Samantha’s (8th grade) NASA Experiments just landed yesterday safely in Texas from Space!  Their experiments were launched from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 1in New Mexico up 121,516 ft (23 miles=37 km) above the Earth as part of the Cubes in Space Program. Their experiments had to fit it a cube just 4 centimeters by 4 centimeters!

 

“The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Remote payload from NASA’s Scientific Balloon Launch Site at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The JPL Remote mission is the third of six planned launches during this year’s fall balloon campaign in New Mexico. JPL Remote is an upper atmosphere research experiment that will help us better understand stratospheric chemistry and the stability of the ozone layer. The payload took flight on a 29.47-million-cubic-foot scientific balloon that, when fully inflated, is roughly the size of 99 blimps.

Continue reading

Lower School Curriculum Night – Digital Resources

By Debra Cardonedigital library
Lower School Librarian

September brings the start of a new school year, and once again classes begin, it is not long before your child will need to do research or a project.

Why not give your 21st Century learner a head start by taking the time to view and explore our Lower School Digital Resources that were introduced during Curriculum Night. Continue reading

Middle School Curriculum Night …

“Wow, mind-blowing!  Can I attend Hamlin as a fifth grader!”
                                                – anonymous fifth grade parent

With a year of coding and robotics like this who wouldn’t want to be a Hamlin fifth grader?

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 9/2/2016

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Did you know that Hamlin is a member of national nonprofit Common Sense‘s Supporter School network?

Did you know that Hamlin is a member of national nonprofit Common Sense‘s Supporter School network?

This membership demonstratesdigital_citizenship-certified_school-med our ongoing commitment to help empower our children to make safe, responsible decisions online and thrive in a world of media and technology. To help kick off Character Month, Common Sense just published this blog post, How to Raise Good Humans in a Digital World.  Check it out to learn five easy ways to teach character strengths and life skills to kids of all ages using media and technology. Continue reading

Common Sense Media & Hamlin Partnership … year 3

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Dear Parents, We’re excited to again be working with Common Sense this year as part of their Supporter School digital_citizenship-certified_school-medProgram (our third year). We’ve partnered with Common Sense because we are fully committed to empowering our children to make safe, responsible decisions online and help them take advantage of the best that technology has to offer for learning. Many of you may know Common Sense for their movie, TV, and book ratings and reviews, but they also provide a wealth of education resources that we will be implementing in a variety of ways.

As a member school, we are taking a whole-community approach to digital citizenship and will provide students and families with the support and tools you need to navigate the digital world in the classroom and at home. We will be sharing Common Sense’s best resources with you throughout the school year, including timely tips and advice, as well as engaging in parent and educator workshops and sharing best practices with a network of member independent schools in the Bay Area and across the country.

To prepare for the back-to-school questions and concerns you may have, check out Back-to-School Rules for Cell Phones, What is Pokémon Go?, and 5 Social Media Musts for Teens. Visit commonsense.org for more information, and we will keep you updated about this program through coffees, events, and weekly blog postings right here.

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2nd Annual Online Teen Dance Film Festival …

Created by Middle School Dance Teacher, Jill Randall, at The Hamlin School in San Francisco, this twenty plus minute film festival highlights the work of middle school dancers at Hamlin as well as selected films from other middle schools and high schools around the globe. ”Dance for the camera” work blends dancing and technology in creative and engaging ways.

On/Line Teen Dance Film Festival – 2016 from Jill Randall on Vimeo.

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 6/2/2016

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Our year is coming to a close and educators, parents and students are looking forward to a change in routine.  But, as we head into the summer, I want to be sure to address one of the biggest parenting frustrations I hear about time and time again: setting screen limits, picking appropriate media, and figuring out Snapchat. We’re raising “digital natives” but we’re supposed to be the experts? Actually, no. It turns out, the most effective way to help your kid have a healthy relationship to media is by being their media mentor.

Many of us think we need to have all the answers. Or we just stick our heads in the sand and hope for the best. But, as so often happens, the middle road is juuuuust right. Researcher Alexandra Samuel surveyed 10,000 North American families and found that some parents put strict limits on what their kids could watch or play (“limiters”), especially when they’re young, while others (especially parents of teens) let their kids control screen time and embrace the idea that more tech is good tech (“enablers”).

But about a third of the parents — whom she calls “media mentors” — consistently engaged in media with their kids, despite their ages, and these kids had better outcomes. Kids of media mentors were less likely to access porn, chat online with a stranger, and impersonate an adult or peer online. Exactly what you’re hoping for as a parent, right?  We have the power to talk with our kids about what they’re seeing, to understand the media in new ways with them, to help them see how it might relate to their outside world, how to look up from their media…. Don’t we want kids today to have people around them who are interacting with them while they’re interacting with media?

So what does it take to be a media mentor“? Please read these 5 steps to learn how you can be a media mentor.  

In addition, I wanted to leave you with a list of the top picks for out-of-school learning from our expert teachers. With these great apps, games, and websites, kids can practice core skills, as well as pursue lifelong learning in whatever interests them most. Parents, take note!

Have a great week and don’t forget to use Common Sense.